Children’s Mental Health Week was launched in 2015 by Place2Be to shine a spotlight on the importance of children and young people’s mental health. This year’s theme was ‘Express Yourself’. Expressing yourself is about finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity.
Children and adults at The Children’s Trust were encouraged to explore the different ways we can express ourselves, and the creative ways that we can share our feelings, our thoughts and our ideas.
Alice Foster, Wellbeing & Engagement Officer at The Children’s Trust, said: “It is more important now than ever to make sure that we are looking after the mental health and wellbeing of the children, young people and families we support.
“This year, to mark, Children’s Mental Health Week we ran activities every afternoon that focusing on emotional wellbeing.”
Activities at The Children’s Trust
Information boards on mental health and the activities taking place were put up. Staff also shared information for families across the UK including Tips on building resilience, How to make a wellbeing playlist, resources for mental wellbeing and The Children’s Trust School shared how it was looking after the young people’s emotional wellbeing in the midst of the pandemic.
Themed activities included:
Yoga: a video was shared for staff, children and young people.
Music for wellbeing: sessions ran for children and young people staying at The Children’s Trust. Video links shared included a film created by the music therapy team based on Dr Seuss’ song about feelings My many coloured days.
Relaxation techniques: children took part in relaxation activities from Save the Children.
Signing: the therapy team shared videos of Makaton signing for mental health including the words happy/joy, sad, tired and worried.
Creative expression with arts and craft.
Activities for staff
Staff were supported with guided meditation, videos and articles on mindfulness, relaxation and sleep, and a directory on sources of support. They were also challenged to share with their team how they take care of their own wellbeing, for example through an app or a great mindfulness video.
With the message that 1 in 4 of us experience a mental health problem, Thursday’s Time to Talk Day encouraged staff to talk about mental health.
Our long-term wellbeing strategy
Dr Gemma Costello, Head of Psychosocial Services at The Children’s Trust, said: “Wellbeing of children and young people is at the core of our work at The Children’s Trust. We recognise the importance of providing a safe and nurturing environment for children and young people so that they feel free to express themselves and trust that those around them will validate their emotions and experiences.
“We firmly believe that in order to take care of others we also need to take care of ourselves. The activities that staff and young people have taken part in throughout the week will continue to be part of our wellbeing strategy. It has been great to explore the many creative activities that can bring us joy, provide comfort, relaxation and help us express our needs to others.”